Norwegian Voices

 Type:Culture, Music
 Location:England, London

Everyone's talking about it! The climax of a year of intense cultural activity that celebrates Norway’s 100th anniversary, 'Norwegian Voices' explores the rich vein of music that has emerged from this country during the past 50 years.

06/12/2005 :: 'Norwegian Voices' takes as its starting point some of the key elements that have distinguished the evolution of this unique music, and will include many of its most important figures as well as incorporating work representing present and future generations. The concert will draw together threads that emanate from Norway’s resonant sense of landscape and tradition - a deeply rooted culture of folk music and evocative song, fused with a sophisticated and ground-breaking use of electronics and improvisation, and a fascinating approach to the way that the human voice can encompass both acoustic and electronic sound. This is music that transcends familiar genres, and inspires musicians and audiences worldwide.

To read a feature article in the Guardian about this unique concert, click here.

The artists taking part include:

Guitarist/composer Terje Rypdal’s career stretches back some five decades. A pivotal figure in a generation that also produced Jan Garbarek and Jon Christensen, his music uniquely spans the raw energy of rock, eerily spaced-out electronics and delicately-textured chamber and orchestral composition. 

Rypdal will perform in duo with Sami singer Mari Boine, whose forthright and emotional voice evokes a centuries-old culture from the far North alongside an edgy, contemporary feel – one of Europe’s most individual singers.

Sidsel Endresen occupies a crucial space at the core of contemporary Norwegian vocalists, an improvisor and composer of real substance – she has been commissioned to create a new piece for multiple voices for this concert.

Supersilent are possibly the most influential and innovative creators of exploratory electronic sound on the planet, capable of creating the most minimal and abstract sounds as well as rocking out with washes of devastating noise and powerhouse rhythms that have influenced a whole movement of club moves and grooves. Supersilent include the Helge Sten aka Deathprod, Jarle Vespestad, Ståle Sorløkken and the extra-terestrial voice and trumpet of Arve Henriksen.

The Brazz Brothers hail from the small island of Sula on the West coast of Norway, and come from a century-old tradition of brass and wind ensembles. Taking traditional music and jazz-inspired improvisation in equal measures, the Brothers will also lead an education project linked to 'Norwegian Voices'.

Ketil Bjørnstad is a major cultural icon in today’s Norway – composer, pianist, lyricist, author (most recently of an imagined autobiography of artist Edvard Munch).  He plays here as leader of a new quartet including British saxophonist Andy Sheppard.

Other artists expected to participate include percussionist Terje Isungset, whose music incorporates elemental materials – wood and stone – derived from the Norwegian landscape; the duet of accordionist Stian Carstensen and percussionist Thomas Strønen; and the soaring voice of Berit Opheim. 

Norwegian Voices will be kaleidoscopic and dramatic, incorporating a specially commissioned visual backdrop, incorporating prepared images and live VJ-ing created by London-based film-makers Yeast. 

Norwegian Voices
Barbican Hall
Thursday 8 December 2005
Bookings: 020 7638 8891 or online, click here.

'Norwegian Voices' on BBC Radio 3
BBC Radio 3 will broadcast the concert in a special edition of its Late Junction programme from 10pm till midnight on Wednesday 4 January. For more info about Late Junction, click here.

Photo: Ellen Ane Eggen

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Terje RypdalPhoto: ECM Records

Sidsel EndresenPhoto: CF-Wesenberg

Arve HenriksenPhoto: Ellen Ane Eggen

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